THE Redditch MMA club has enjoyed a knockout start to the year after securing a new home at a bigger site. 

The Mixed Martial Arts club has moved from its previous premises in the town’s Old Needle Works to a 3,191 sq ft refurbished unit on the Redditch Trade Centre with the support of commercial property agents John Truslove.

Club owner James Whiston said: “It gives us twice as much space as before and we’ve been able to fit the largest exercise mat of any other club in the region.

“It is 150 sq m and can enable up to 50 people to exercise together at any one time.

“We have taken the unit and remade it into exactly what we need, with a new reception, changing rooms, a power-lifting gym and a padded wall to simulate an MMA octagon.

“We have brought around 95% of our former members from the old site and we are recruiting new members virtually every day since we opened at the start of the year.”

James has been training in the sport for around 25 years, since he was a teenager, and started running his own club a decade ago following his own career as a professional MMA competitor.

Redditch MMA is also the home of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu club and also runs traditional boxing and Thai boxing classes for both adults and youngsters.

“We see members who are competing and those who are looking for a different sport to keep fit. We are also seeing more and more female members, particularly in the youth classes. It’s a growing sport and that was driving us to look for bigger premises.

“I’d looked for premises before, working with Ben Truslove from the John Truslove agency, and with our lease coming to an end at the Old Needle Works I spotted this unit, found out that Ben was handling it and it went from there.”

“This is an investment in the future,” said James Whiston. “We are here for the long term and have made sure the premises have everything we need.”